AT&T is shutting down more company-owned AT&T Mobility retail stores before the end of the year. According to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, the wireless carrier will be closing a total of 320 stores, which will lead to over 1,600 displaced workers.
Earlier this year, the wireless carrier also closed down 250 stores. This means that a total of 570 stores will be shut down in this year alone.
AT&T says that the decision to close these stores is because of the changing practice of how their customers shop. Even before the pandemic, the company already saw the shift in the business and has decided to adhere to this trend.
A spokesperson for the company shared: “While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Last year, there was already a proposal to reduce the number of stores and increase labor productivity. This was a point fought for by hedge fund Elliot Management. Elliot focused on giving AT&T ways on how they could cut down their costs in the retail footprint-- and part of that was by shutting down redundant stores and to be more open to authorized retailers.
As for the affected employees, AT&T promised that they would “make every effort to place employees in other nearby AT&T stores.”
Another option is to assign employees to a work-at-home call center representative role so they could keep their job with the company. “Others will be encouraged to apply for open roles that may be available in other parts of the business.”
In its June analysis, Wave7 Research shares that AT&T has over 5,000 stores. Slightly more than 2,000 stores are corporate-owned. The rest are dealer stores.
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